I pit computer equipment designers. This is a lame rant, and they are lame idiots.


Why in the name of all that is unholy cant they have fucking on/off switches on routers and cable modems. Why in the name of satan must I unplug the damn things to reboot them?

I have a surfboard cable modem. Does it have an on off switch in a convenient place? No , it has a fucking standby switch. Why would I need my modem on standby? I leave my computer up 7/24, what I do need is some way to reboot the damne thing when Charter Communications screws something up and I lose my connection and need to reboot.

I have a Netgear router. Same fucking deal. No switches of any sort, you have to unplug it to reset it. What the fuck.

Cant they put a freaking 5 cent piece of plastic and metal in so we dont have to slither around inthe dustbunnies and on annoying shelves to unplug, wait around then plug back in? Come on, a standby switch?

Your routers don’t plug in at both sides? I’ve never seen a router or cable modem that doesn’t.

IANAC…er, I am a computer engineer, and I think part of the reason for this is that there’s a very big tendency in engineering to think that if something is probably not supposed to be turned off, it doesn’t need a power switch. I think engineers just lose sight of the fact that reboots do involve ‘turning the thing off’ and that a switch would be pretty damn good for that.

I don’t understand the standby switch at all on a cable modem. It seems to serve almost no practical value, at least to me. Standby typically being a case in which the main board is still powered although the device itself is not functioning. It’s useful on computers to prevent over wear on drives, but it’s still not the same as a reboot.

If I ever design a DSL router or a cable modem, I’ll think of you and put a power switch in it. Also remember though, that sometimes it may still be necessary to unplug, as power switches are not perfect and could have enough leakage current such that hitting the power switch won’t always solve the problem. Most of the time, it works great, but not always.

I know it’s annoying to work on a computer that has a PSU without a hard-power switch on it, because on the ATX supplies the mobo is constantly getting 5 V, which means that I should (although I don’t always) unplug before working. A real, honest to god, power switch is a nice thing to have.

I have an even weirder scenario. I’m not at home right now so I can’t check the brand of cable modem, but get this - it has a power switch but it doesn’t work! More precisely, it must be a “soft” switch because all it takes is a jiggle of the power cord and the thing turns back on. This is a huuge pain in the ass when I want to move it somewhere (like for vacuuming, since it sits on the floor). You’d think I could just turn it off, but no, because as soon as I pick it up (hence jiggling the cord) the damn thing turns back on!!

Excellent rant. I will think of it everytime I unplug my cable modem, accidently drop the cord and then have to stretch/contort my body reaching behind my desk to grab it.

Rant from an alternate universe:

So I got home from work today, and my network connection was down. I spend 10 minutes checking connections and stuff, only to find out that somebody must have bumped the damn switch on the router and just turned it off. Who the hell puts an on-off switch on a router? Why the fuck would I want it off? The whole point of the router is to maintain an “always on connection” ALWAYS ON dumbasses!

That said, I’ve yet to see a router without a reset button…am I just lucky?


Cable modems, routers, hubs and switches are sketchy enough. Would you really want one more moving part added to the mix?

One suggestion: procure a small power strip with an on-off switch and plug your modem and router into it. Mount or place said strip in an easy-to-reach location.

Our wireless router has one of them little holes that you gots to poke a straightened paperclip intuh.

'Cause, ya know, if the reset button got accidentally bumped, that would be catastrophic, what with you having to wait about 30 seconds for it to reboot itself.

Hell, I want a switch-style on/off switch for my computer - I can’t think of how many times I’ve had the system lock up to the point where the reset button doesn’t do anything, and neither does the push-button on/off switch, so I find myself reaching around back to pull the plug anyway.

It’s the same on my laptop. If I was running a perfect operating system, fine, but until they build one, occasionally, it locks up completely and “standby button” and “start->log off->shut down” are unavailable. Is taking the battery out as safe as having an off switch? Maybe. But an off switch would seem an obvious choice…

When you push the power button on your PC or laptop and it doesn’t do anything, push the power button and hold it down for ~10 seconds, and it will turn off without doing a shutdown.


Holy crap, you are some kind of freaking genius. I had the same annoyance as the OP… and it’s already plugged into a strip… and it never, ever occurred to me to just turn the strip off.

Don’t know if you’ve tried this or not, but it’s sometimes necessary to hold in the power button on the ATX models for 5 to 10 seconds until the machine powers off.

This is supposed to prevent an accidental quick push of the button from cutting power, or at least that seems reasonable.

It’s a pretty good solution for those who use it, but remember not to plug your whole computer into that power strip or else you’ll shut everything down at once: bad for hard disks.

My DSL router is plugged into my UPS. Gotta have that ability to Internet right through a 15 minute power outage.

Holy crap, really? I guess I’ve just never been that determined to sit there and hold it for that long, huh.

I’d hit the switch on the power strip it’s plugged into, but that’s even less accessible than the power cord port on the back of the computer.

I’m pretty sure I’ve done 5 seconds, out of sheer frustration/annoyance, so I suspect it’ll take 10 to do the trick on my particular computer. Thank god, someone out there really did give us a way to say “no really, I want the power off now” without pulling the plug.

ATX is nice enough, but it does irritate in that the ‘On/Off’ button is not as intuitive as it used to be.

Generally it’ll work if you just hold the button in for a little while and wait for the computer to shut off. I’ve found that the times vary.

I’m a computer programmer. I’m a good enough computer programmer that I’m still comfortably drawing a 6 figure salary in this economy. I’ve been using computers for 20 years. Somebody else had to tell me the “just hold the button down” trick after about a year of my frustration on my part.


Only problem is the asshat who built our house put 1 single outlet in the whole bedroom, and the router/modem bar aslo has both alarm clocks and the tv/vcr/dvd stack plugged into it, and I hate it when all the little numbers start blinking at me when I lose power…

I would just rather have a nice on off switch=\

Like I said, not intuitive. I’m a computer engineer, and my major thing is hardware design. I still forget this one from time to time.

Not intuitive, and also not easily learned. For some reason, cost I assume, the thick paper manual has gone the way of the dodo. No longer can we get a new toy and kick back for a couple of hours with the manual to learn the fun features.

I’ve been using this thinkpad for over a year before I found out it has an integrated keyboard light, by reading a news article about hidden computer features. :rolleyes:

psst… hit Fn - PgUp for the light…